Connections are formed and contracts are signed over a good meal at One North Kitchen & Bar, the Michelin-recommended restaurant inside One North Wacker. As Forever Owners who are committed to our workplace communities through active reinvestment, Irvine Company recently partnered with Owner, Operator and Executive Chef Laura Piper to reimagine the restaurant’s interior and create an elevated dining experience. We sat down with Chef Piper to explore the revitalization and reopening process, as well as some of Chicago’s favorite dishes.
Function Meets Form
Designed in collaboration with Corporate Concepts, One North Kitchen & Bar has been optimized for increased functionality, with new features like a glass partition that allows the dining area to transition for private events. “It was a beautiful space before, but the updates really make it shine,” says Chef Piper. She specifically calls out the addition of a coat room — a necessity for Chicago’s four seasons — as well as the new ceiling that helps regulate noise. “A lot of our customers hold business meetings here, so it’s great that we’ve been able to tamp down the sound and create an environment more conducive to work,” she explains.
Local & Sustainable
Recognized by Best Chefs America three years in a row, Chef Piper has championed sustainability and supporting local suppliers long before it became a trend in recent years. “My grandfather had a farm in the far south suburbs, so I grew up in a farm family. Everything was local,” reflects Chef Piper. One North Kitchen & Bar is also committed to serving antibiotic and hormone free protein that is ethically raised and uses environmentally friendly products. “We run this as a very ‘green’ restaurant and I’ve been operating that way since the late ‘80s,” says Chef Piper. “All of that comes out in the food — you can taste it, there’s no doubt.”
Neighborhood Vibe, Downtown Location
Conveniently located in the heart of the Loop, One North Kitchen & Bar serves an eclectic group of customers — from building engineers and corporate CEOs to Lyric Opera guests and tourists. With this diversity in taste and budgets in mind, Chef Piper has curated a menu she describes as contemporary American fare. “I like that title because it doesn’t box me in,” says Chef Piper. The BLT risotto made with Nueske’s bacon is one of the most popular items on One North Kitchen & Bar’s current menu, complementing classics like fish tacos and mac and cheese voted best in Chicago. For customers at One North Wacker, these dishes are just an elevator ride away with the convenience of online ordering.
Enjoy the new and improved One North Kitchen & Bar by grabbing a quick drink at the bar or settling into a lunch meeting in the intimate booth seating. “Our vision is for One North Kitchen & Bar to be a neighborhood restaurant, but downtown,” explains Chef Piper. “We want customers to walk in the door and know that Juan is at the bar with their drink waiting for them. That’s what makes us different — people will come for the food, but they’ll come back for great service.”